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Here and now
26th-Aug-2014 06:49 pm

Someone posted up on Facebook that once you've lived somewhere else, a part of you will be left behind there.  The root breaks off a piece when it's uprooted.  The changes here are unmistakeable; our Independence celebrations consist of a shabby parade and sad dingy pennants hanging from a few government buildings.  But I don't mourn the way we have advanced tchnologically.  But it as if we have lost the tree and root of us.  Our green spaces littered with plastic bottles and frantic noisy cars.  We live on a tiny island; where are you trying to go?  Someone rams their black sports car drunkenly into a fire hydrant.  Mindlessness.

I see a picture of my former English Lit. professor, now a member of the government advisor commitee for policy and constitutional change.  She is sitting in a metal foldout chair.  Her dreadlocks are now greying, she is as thin as ever.  Looming above her are a rows of policemen in navy, with riot shields and batons.  They speak down to her; this woman who has written books that cement our literary history, this woman who has helped to create a Caribbean literary canon.  She sits quietly, calmly.  The movement of brute force upon our history.  I don't even know what I am writing now, I just remember sitting in her classes, quietly receiving her light.

Years from now we will stop and ask each other, "Where were you when it happened?  When we lost control?  When villains found out that the way to subdue us was not through brute force but with stealth, education, playing games with our laws, they have won before we even knew what we were fighting for.  Right now the Senate will pass a bill that makes it virtually impossible for us to escape the bipartisan curse of our nation?  We will be divided into races, we will see groups hate each other without knowing exactly why they hate each other.  Or maybe we see past it.  We cannot be so stupid?  Can we?

I want to create an ending to this but I consider the way we create our existence day by day.  We have no long history.  Our nation is 52 years old.  We have oil, and we have natural gas. We are fortunate.  Now we are beset by people smarter than us.  Our people are helpless, like the Amerindians when the Spanish first set upon them, giving and open, believing them genuine while they hold the weapons behind their backs.

And the parties continue, mad, insane revels, drunken mindless baths.  They crash on the way home, they murder each other.  My God. Was it always this way? I'm exhausted now.  The thing that screams to me the most is the silence, our communal, anguished silence.

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